We all root for the underdog, don’t we? I still remember being filled with pathos as I stared down at the Neo Geo Pocket Color languishing in the bargain bin in GameStation, looking like an abandoned puppy after Nintendo’s Game Boy Color had won Best In Show.
I gave it a loving home and was duly rewarded with many years of loyal entertainment in the tiny tanks of Metal Slug and on the lush greens of Neo Turf Masters.
Being an SNK console, there was a fair amount of scrapping too, with the machine offering commendable cut-down versions of The King Of Fighters, Samurai Shodown and the like. I have fondest memories for Gals Fighters, partly because it was a system exclusive but mainly for its overall air of irreverent weirdness.
The all-girl (plus one transvestite) roster brings together some formidable fighting femmes and plenty of silliness. The scantily-clad Mai has an impressive aerial bum-slam move, Yuri will call on her dad, Mr Karate, if you’re picking on her and the mysterious Miss X can mistake you for dinner and launch a ravenous knife and fork assault.
The action is impressively fast and fairly easy to grasp, the two-button control system allowing for both weak and strong attacks according to how hard you press, and you can even battle across two handhelds with the help of a link cable. Sadly I’ve never been able to try out this feature, being the only Neo Geo owner in the village. Still, I’ll always have my gal pals for company…